## The Frustrated Farmer

This week’s puzzle has been around for many years. It is one of a family of puzzles which have varying degrees of difficulty. These puzzles usually have three common characteristics. First, they all involve getting something across a river (or pond) in a boat. Second, one or more of the things in each puzzle is… Continue Reading

## Three in a Row

Three in a Row is a two-person game played on a 3 x 3 square grid using six markers. Each player needs three markers which can be easily distinguished from those of the other player. Coins, beans, buttons, checkers, math chips, or any other small manipulatives will all work well. The object of the game is… Continue Reading

## Möbius Mysteries

Puzzle Question How can you explain the apparent paradox of the double Möbius strips? Materials Scratch paper Scissors Tape Student sheets Puzzle Background The Möbius loop is a topological surface first discovered by August Ferdinand Möbius in 1858. Möbius was a mathematician and professor of astronomy whose work in topology revolutionized the field of non-Euclidean geometry. A… Continue Reading

## The 36 ‘Picks Puzzle

This puzzle comes from a rich historical tradition that dates back to the 19th century when matches were first manufactured. Invented in 1827 by the British chemist John Walker, matches soon replaced the tinder boxes and flints that people had formerly used to light fires. As matches grew in popularity and became ubiquitous later in… Continue Reading

## Shape It Up

The Puzzle Corner this week comes from the great American puzzle genius of a century ago, Sam Loyd, and was originally published with the name “The Royal Road to Mathematics.” Shape It Up, as we have renamed it, is similar to tangrams, but uses only five pieces that are all different from each other, unlike the seven tangram… Continue Reading

## It’s a Snap!

This week’s Puzzle Corner activity is an adaptation of a classic puzzle from recreational mathematics. It is traditionally posed as a thought problem to be worked out in your head; as such, it is moderately difficult. However, I have found that many elementary school children can solve this puzzle -if they have manipulatives to make it concrete.… Continue Reading

## The Three-to-Five Triangle Puzzle

This week’s Puzzle Corner activity comes out of a rich historical tradition that dates back to the 19th century when matches were first manufactured. Invented in 1827 by the British chemist John Walker, matches soon replaced the tinderboxes that people had formerly used to light fires. As matches grew in popularity and became ubiquitous later… Continue Reading

## Addressing Mathematical Practice Standards Through Multiplication and Division Word Problems

Have you ever given your students an experience with manipulatives and then found when you shifted over to a textbook that the students didn’t make the connection between the two experiences? As a curriculum developer and researcher, I am constantly looking for more ways for students to make connections from the concrete (manipulatives) to the… Continue Reading

## Building Confidence in Math with Multiplication

Why do you teach? I remember when I first came into the profession it was because I enjoyed students and wanted to make a difference. I still love watching movies of teachers that have gone into challenging situations and inspired students to think differently. These teachers empowered the students to be all that they were… Continue Reading

## Locating Legs

This week’s Puzzle Corner activity has a holiday theme. In it, students are presented with a paradoxical scenario and asked to try to make sense of it. In this scenario a child is hiding under a table at her parent’s holiday party. Looking out, she can count 20 legs and thus knows there are 10 adults in… Continue Reading